The Obama administration will propose an overhaul of the National Security Agency's telephone program that would end systematic collection of domestic call data and leave those records with phone companies, The New York Times reported Monday.
The plan, if enacted by Congress, would not require the phone companies to retain the data for longer than they otherwise would hold them, the newspaper said said in a report attributed to unnamed senior administration officials. The federal agency could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, under the proposal being prepared.
Obama said earlier this year that he wanted to get the agency out of collecting bulk call records while preserving its ability to get data when needed and directed the Justice Department and intelligence officials to come up with a plan by Friday.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would continue in its current form for at least three more months and would later face major revisions under the administration's plan.
Under the current secret phone program, operated under provision of the Patriot Act passed in the aftermath of the 2011 terrorist attacks on the United States, the agency retains phone data for five years. Phone companies typically are required to hold customers' calling records for 18 months.
Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Times that while it has questions about details, "we agree with the administration that the N.S.A.'s bulk collection of call records should end."